Culture

Conservatives Are (Unsurprisingly) Wrong About Eastern Men, Masculinity, And Dresses

THE big man himself, Jesus Christ, wore a dress. So please take a seat, Candice.

harry styles

When Candice Owens — prominent conservative commentator and poster girl for the alt-right — attacked Harry Styles for wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue, she also implied that Eastern men are manly because they don’t wear dresses.

“There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack.

“Bring back manly men.”

Unfortunately for Owens, Eastern men have been wearing dresses for centuries and continue to do so while being just as manly or unmanly as they wish to be. And that includes the big man himself, Jesus Christ.

Men all around the world, at all points in history have rocked dresses and skirts. Some of the arguably most “manly” men, from gladiators, to kings and emperors, sultans, to warriors. Today, while the West has largely abandoned wearing skirts, probably due to men riding horses while women staying home — riding horses is very uncomfortable in a dress, not that I’ve done it. Because it was mostly men who needed to wear pants, they slowly became masculine while dresses and skirts became feminine.

It wasn’t actually until the 19th century these ways of dressing up within the gender binary became set in stone.

A man named Beau Brummel, the 19th century equivalent of a male fashion influencer, embraced menswear as we now know it, and everyone else followed. Menswear became simple, structured, made of military fabrics, and monochromatic. This left behind European men’s previous obsession with flamboyant clothing made of silky fabrics and laces, also abandoning the makeup and wigs they had once loved — these all became feminine things.

But the same did not happen in the East.

While men in the East have embraced the ‘masculine’ look, it’s not so much because it’s masculine, but because of Western and often colonial influence. Still, tradition remains strong across the East. Men in South Asia continue wear kurtas, in Japan men wear kimonos and haoris, in East Africa men wear kanzus, and in the Middle East even the King of Saudi Arabia wears the thawb.

Elijah Wood sums it up right. Masculinity does not make a man. And neither does wearing pants.